When I was home in NH, I visited the Concord Farmers Market. NH has a great list of all the markets in the state by date and season so it’s not at all hard to find a market near you. Especially when you’re in NH. That’s partly because there are tons of great markets but also because NH is around the same size as the average flat screen television. At the Concord, NH market, I found a farmer selling his own pastured chickens.
In NYC, the poultry farmers often sell out of livers before I’m able to get there. Some of them go to restaurants and others to the many home cooks who love them. But I’m not sure if I know anyone in NH who likes liver. I vaguely remember my dad saying “That’s the one food I won’t eat. Too strong. Ok, I’m going out to chop some wood.” To be honest, I was repulsed at the thought of eating liver in any form up until a few years ago. But I decided to go for it at the market. “We don’t have livers because they’re sitting at home in my freezer. They just don’t sell,” the farmer told me. I asked if he could bring a few in the next Saturday and we would buy them then. He agreed and we came back the next Saturday at noon. “Sorry. I don’t have any livers. I brought them in but they sold out first thing in the morning.” I guess there was something of a liver revolution going on in NH but unfortunately, it requires one to be at the market early in the AM.
I made it a point to get livers back in NY and was fortunate enough to find some from John Fazio, a farmer known for his ducks and rabbits. He recently started raising chickens (which are also very good) and sells the livers separately. Livers taste ‘meaty.’ I liken them more to a very rich sausage than anything else. With good local onions and some toasted bread, you’re good to go.
I have not given up on the livers from NH, but unfortunately the weekly farmer’s market does not return until the spring. When it does reopen, I will take my place on the front lines of the NH liver revolution. Live free or die eating good livers from local chickens.
Chicken Liver and Onions $9/6 Servings = $1.50/serving
Trim 3/4 pound of livers and blot dry with paper towel
Chop 2 large local onions
Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium high heat in cast iron skillet
Salt and pepper the livers heavily and add to pan
Saute, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes
Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and add onion to pan
Increase heat to high and saute for another 5 minutes
Turn heat off and add livers back to pan along with 2 ounces of bourbon or cognac
Turn heat to low and cook for 3 minutes or just until alcohol is cooked out
Pour contents of pan into food processor and run on high until mixture forms a smooth puree
Spoon mixture into ramekins and refrigerate
To serve, toast 6 slices of bread
Spoon or spread liver onto toasts and enjoy